It’s a sweep for the second year in a row for the Lompoc High girls soccer team against Cabrillo – despite the injuries starting to mount up.
Energized by the play of top scorer Ayziah Simmons and the defense of Marina Tamayo, the Braves scored in the first 15 minutes of the game, propelling them to the 2-0 road victory over the Conquistadores on Wednesday afternoon.
Playing underneath an 80 degree sky with minimal clouds, Lompoc (10-4-2 overall, 9-2-1 in the Los Padres League) continued to keep up with Santa Ynez in the race to the LPL title. Only the Pirates (11-0 in league games) hold the better LPL record than the Braves.
But, the injury bug got to Simmons during the first half. The sophomore – who scored both goals for the Braves – collided with one CHS player at the knee and limped off under her own power. Her head coach Jason Cochrane decided to keep her out of the field for the entire second half.
“Right now, we are going to evaluate her. Based on the preliminary look, there’s nothing structural (that was damaged),” Cochrane said. “She had some range in motion, so we were excited about that. But it is a little bit scary.”
Already, the Braves have been plagued by bumps, bruises and other ailments that sometimes require rest and change in practice tempo.
“Right now, a bunch of our players are hurt and we’re missing a bunch of players. Just to have that list get longer is going to be detrimental to the team. But we’re going to work through it. She (Simmons) is a strong kid and if she can give it a go, she’ll go,” Cochrane said.
Simmons scored the first goal on an aerial kick that sailed from the right side of the goalie box and fell into the net. Then, the right-footed Simmons got this rare accomplishment: A goal off of her left foot. The left side boot inside the goalie box rolled into the net for the final points of the day.
“It doesn’t happen very often,” Cochrane said of the goal off of Simmons’ left foot. “She’s just a phenomenal player. It often takes two players to mark her because she’s so athletic and quick and we get her into good spaces for some good shots.”
Defensively, Tamayo and Cassandra Ceja kept the Conquistadores away from the net, with Ceja recording her eighth shutout of the season.
While Lompoc continued to remain in second place of the LPL, Cochrane is taking a cautious approach with keeping his team healthy for the playoff push.
“We’ve kind of altered what we try the do in the last couple of years. Are in-between days are our recovery and prep,” Cochrane said. “One half is recovering from the last match and the other half is prepping for the next one.”
As for Cabrillo, the Conquistadores have also been hit by injuries. One key injury was Natalia Tulloch, who head coach Derrick Wong says is out for the duration of the season (knee).
“We’ve had years where you have injuries and nicks and bumps. It just seems like every game we just add to the total,” Wong said. “We know where we are. We don’t make excuses. We still play. Our mentality is that we have nothing to lose – just go out there and play your hardest. What happens…happens. We’re not concerned about wins and losses we’re more concerned about giving these teams a game.”
Brooklyn Gregory and Tess McIntyre helped energize CHS with their defensive play. Cabrillo fell to 5-13-4 and 2-8-1 in the LPL.
Lompoc 1, Cabrillo 0
After suffering their first LPL loss of the season on Monday at the hands of Santa Maria, the Braves responded with a shutout of Cabrillo – which also completed the season sweep of the Conqs.
Jonathan Limas scored the lone goal of the game during the first half. Lompoc is now 13-5-2 and 10-1 in league play.